We’re Saving the Planet… What Are You Doing?

Photos by Erika Barker

We worked at Lake Chekika yesterday, clearing brush and invasive plant species like the Brazilian Pepper Tree. We worked so hard the rangers had to kick us out—we were tiring them out! It was a good thing though because the pepper tree has overtaken the park and the native plant species. With our work they hope to reopen the lake to campers one day.

Today we went to what was probably our coolest site, the Nike Missile Base. This site was ground zero during the Cuban Missile Crisis. We had the honor of helping to clean up the overgrowth so they can restore it for the 50th anniversary. It was one of the coolest sites we went on and we were able to get a personal tour and learn about the history of the site. It was definitely one of the most rewarding projects I worked on this week.

Tomorrow is our recreation day and while I don’t know what we are doing yet I do know this has been one of the most rewarding weeks of my life. Not only have I done some great work but I’ve made some life long friends in the process. They are people I won’t easily forget and definitely keep in touch with in the future. And while I am happy to go home at the end of the week, I am sad to leave this place behind. It has left an imprint on my heart that won’t soon go away.